Barack Obama: The power of poetry

No, the President didn’t submit the following quote, but he did say it last week at a poetry event he and Michelle held at the White House.

“Everybody experiences it differently. There are no rules for what makes a great poem. Understanding it isn’t just about metaphor or meter. Instead, a great poem is one that resonates with us, that challenges us and that teaches us something about ourselves and the world that we live in. As Rita Dove says, ‘If [poetry] doesn’t affect you on some level that cannot be explained in words, then the poem hasn’t done its job.’ ”

President Obama

Read more about the White House event where Michelle hosted a workshop for young poets, taught by former U.S. Poet Laureates Rita Dove and Billy Collins, and Obama’s inaugural poet Elizabeth Anderson , at the Huffington Post. You’ll also find a link there to a few poems Obama had published as a college student. Cool.

And send me your favorite. . . pass it on.

Sally Ashton
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate



Filed under On Poetry

2 responses to “Barack Obama: The power of poetry

  1. I question exactly why you called this particular blog, “Barack Obama:
    The power of poetry | poetlaureateblog”. In any event I actually enjoyed the article!
    Thank you,Sima

    • Well,Sima,that’s the title for this blog post because it’s about Barack Obama’s comments regarding the power of poetry, as simple as that. I’m glad you enjoyed it and thanks for reading along.

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